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Activists Seize Illegal Teak!!
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- Subject: Activists Seize Illegal Teak!!
- From: EarthCulture <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 11:22:07 -0400 (EDT)
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Activists Seize Illegal Teak!
Defend Burma's People and Rainforests
By: Rick Spencer
On July 12, activists representing Rainforest Relief and EarthCulture
entered Scan Designs in Bethesda, MD and announced they were reclaiming
stolen teak imports. Tim Keating, Rainforest Relief's Executive Director
told the manager, "We are seizing this furniture to return to the Karen
people of Burma. This wood was cut using slave labor." As the manager
called the police, the activists made their way out with two teak tables.
The furniture was taken outside at which time, Tim locked both of the front
doors with a krytonite bike lock and locked himself by the neck to them. A
group of about 15 other protesters, including several Burmese students then
unfurled a 20 foot banner which read, "Teak is Torture for Burma's People
The action grabbed the attention of 2 Asian radio networks and a local ABC
television affiliate. It was part of Rainforest Relief's Teak Week of
Action which saw demonstrations and direct actions in several US cities.
In an hour, fire fighters had unscrewed the door handles, and Tim was taken
to jail. Tim was charged with a $1,000 fine from the fire department for
blocking the entrance, and $1,500 for trespassing and disorderly conduct.
The latter two may be dropped or reduced, but the $1,000 fine is likely to
stick. If you can help out with a donation for Tim's legal troubles, I'm
sure he would be extremely appreciative.
Burma is the source of the majority of internationally traded teak. A
military coup in Burma in 1962 began a reign of terror and oppression that
continues today. In 1988, the SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration
Council) gunned down thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators in a massive
protest. Continued protests brought about general elections. Though the
SLORC only received 2% of the vote, they refused to yield power. The SLORC
generals use forced labor, rape, torture, forced relocation and
intimidation to control the people of Burma. Cases of forced labor have
been documented by the SLORC in logging operations.
Burma is home to the world's last primary teak forests and some of the last
ancient rainforests remaining in mainland Asia, but are now being
liquidated to fund the SLORC's rule. These forests are home to rare species
such as the Asian Rhino, Asian Elephant and others. In the US, teak is used
for indoor and outdoor furniture, interior trim, boat trim & decking and
small consumer items like spice racks, salad bowls and napkin holders.
For more information on the teak/Burma situation contact Rainforest Relief
at: email@example.com or EarthCulture at: firstname.lastname@example.org
PO Box 4674
Greensboro, NC 27404
Phone & Fax: 910-854-2957
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STOP THE TROPICAL CHOP! Use sustainable or recycled wood products-
or simply reduce your wood consumption.
Rainforests are the home to 50% of the world's species & 50,000 indigenous
peoples. By boycotting rainforest woods- like mahogany, teak, lauan, &
you can help save our most important ecosystems!
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Contact us for our FREE Rainforest Woods/ Wood Reduction Action Pack!